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Corrections to mechanical CPT results for use in liquefaction evaluation


The cone penetration test is often used in geological and geotechnical surveys for characterising soil layers and to solve a wide set of geotechnical problems, especially for large scale studies that need to cover as wide an area as possible with more cost and time savings. For more than 30 years, there has been considerable interest in using CPT also to evaluate the liquefaction resistance of soils. The CPT-based simplified methods used for liquefaction resistance evaluation require in situ measurements from electrical cone penetrometers even if they are frequently applied using measurements from mechanical CPTs that are still preferred by current engineering practice in many countries. In the present paper, a dataset of more than 3900 pairs of measurements of cone tip resistance and sleeve friction pertaining the same soil levels and measured with the two different types of cone penetration equipment (mechanical and electrical) were obtained from 44 sites located in Northern and Central Italy. Statistical analyses and regression processes allowed for the definition of some correction equations to be included in some of the most used CPT-based methods for liquefaction resistance estimation from CPT mechanical data. A probabilistic approach based on Taylor’s method was proposed for determining the uncertainties. Finally, the reliability of the suggested correction procedure was tested on the dataset available for this study.

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A s :

Surface area behind the cone


Cyclic resistance ratio

CRR 7.5 :

Cyclic resistance ratio with reference to an earthquake of magnitude 7.5


Cyclic stress ratio

CV :

Coefficient of variation

Dr :

Relative density

F r :

Normalised friction ratio


Liquefaction potential function

f s :

Sleeve friction


Safety factor against liquefaction

I c :

Soil behaviour type index

I clim :

Cut-off value of Ic


Liquefaction potential index


Liquefaction settlement index


Magnitude scaling factor

q c :

Cone tip resistance

Q cn :

Normalised cone resistance

q c1Ncs :

Equivalent clean sand cone tip resistance

R f :

Friction ratio

R 2 :

Coefficient of determination


Weighting function of LPI

zcr :

Critical depth for liquefaction

\( \varepsilon_{v} \) :

Post-liquefaction volumetric strain

\( \gamma_{\hbox{max} } \) :

Maximum shear strain for a given FSL

\( \mu \) :


\( \sigma \) :

Standard deviation

\( \sigma^{2} \) :



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This study was supported by Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany Regional Governments, DPC-ReLUIS Research Project 2014–2016, Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. CPT data used were provided by the dott. geol. Thomas Veronese and by the Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany Regional Governments. Special thanks are due to the journal reviewers for their useful contribution to the final draft of the paper.

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Correspondence to Johann Facciorusso.

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Facciorusso, J., Madiai, C. & Vannucchi, G. Corrections to mechanical CPT results for use in liquefaction evaluation. Bull Earthquake Eng 15, 3505–3528 (2017).

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